This bottle was sent to me by my lovely friend Sean who felt I needed cheering up when I was psychotic, depressed and suicidal a month or so back. What he didn’t know was the one of the drugs I was prescribed back then makes people psychotic and suicidal when they drink even if they are not depressed, psychotic and suicidal to start with. Consequently, I decided to save opening it until I was feeling a bit better. Hard still is hard, but I’m feeling a lot better – especially now my back has been fixed. Mentally I’m still not firing on cylinders all, as a trip into Winchester proved earlier, plus the difficulties in writing. I’m better enough to drink and write (almost), so here we go: my first proper tasting note in… oh… some time or other.
Lignier-Michelot are a negociant who own some of their own vines. Mostly their own vines, I seem to recall. They make polished wines of attraction and pleasure, but I’ve never had anything from them that’s made me stir in the rude department. I admit that’s largely because I’ve never looked, but at the village and Premier Cru level they have usually managed to deliver on the pert nipple front. I’ve largely drank Morey-Saint-Denis villages and Premier Cru from them (and a bloody awful/pleasing lot of the stuff too) so it’s nice to try something from down the road.
Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles-Vignes 2009, Lignier-Michelot
What a lovely nose! gracefully showing off stylish fruit and a good Chambolle floral character. There’s a depth to the nose which presumably comes from the old vines. Quite what they old count vines as I have no idea and I’m writing a tasting note not trying to read flowery, impentitrable text on a French website, so I’m not going to look it up. Highly attractive, for sure, but something makes me think they let a few too many novelty wild yeast strains blow into the winery, which is fine because it adds to the complexity, but might make this wine a little more complex for the novice to decipher. Smells good, let’s be sure of that, lovely stuff.
The rich, ripeness of the 2009 vintage stands out and really enhances the attractiveness of it’s nose. That being said, alcohol levels are totally in balance and it’s not in the slightest bit hot or stewed. Oak treatment is spot on, not only just a hint of new oak showing, the tiniest hint at that, but also very obvious care in making sure the barrels are clean which is something one hell of a lot of shit-ridden Burgundian negociants could learn from. This smells ready to drink and in a condition to deliver a lot pleasure.
The palate has a lovely silky structure, those tannins are just lovely. Smooth and svelte without getting into the soupy domain that some 2009s can hit. There’s good prickly backbone of acidity to it as well (which I bet came from the Nuits oenology shop, but so what?). The whole impression is that the structure is poised and stylish. I like it a lot.
Now the fruit. The fruit on the palate is wonderfully attractive, perfectly ripe and throbbing with vivacity. It’s complex, deep, Chambolle fruit with that hint of flowers again. Delicious. It works perfectly with the lithe structure to make a wine that positively bursts with life and begs you to drink it with great gusto and rabid enthusiasm whilst making growling dog noises at anyone sitting close to you. There is a hint of that slightly muddy wild yeat character, but I think on the palate you’d have to be as amazing a taster as me to notice it. Possibly.
It’s pretty long too, and, as I’ve said, reasonably complex. So don’t wait, there’s fun to be had. Don’t bother ageing it, quite lovely and is shining it’s red light for clients now. Drink, drink and enjoy.
Back in the game, old chap. Back in the game.
A delightfully expressive description, David. I’m particularly tickled by the shit-ridden negociant barrels, which I recognise immediately, but with one notable exception in this decade I don’t know of any whose barrels are still dirty-not that it’s always such a terrible thing!